“The Summit” – documentary tells of disaster on K2

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Anyone who is intrigued by mountain climbing and why people are willing to risk their lives to scale the highest peaks on the earth, will be intrigued by “The Summit.”In some ways it’s not that different from the 1998 IMAX documentary “Everest” that chronicled the disaster that Jon Krakauer wrote about in his best-seller “Into Thin Air” (at least two other films were made about this tragedy as well.)  In a freak storm in 1996 eight climbers, some of the best in the world, lost their lives. … [Read more...]

PBS Documentary marks 50th anniversary of the march on Washington

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 Almost every American above the age of 6 knows who Martin Luther King Jr. was because his name is attached to a federal holiday. No school and for some, no work. We learn, or we know, that because of what he and a group of courageous colleagues and collaborators organized in Washington, D.C., 50 years ago, the American South was legally desegregated in 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act.In this new documentary on PBS, I learned a lot more about the … [Read more...]

More than Honey: new doc seeks answer for why the honey bees keep dying

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 For the last 15 years the disappearance and mass deaths of honeybees has been diagnosed as “colony collapse disorder”.  In 2008 the CBS television show “60 Minutes”  explored the phenomenon and in 2010 the documentary “Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us” firmly placed the cause of colony collapse disorder at the feet of pesticides. In April 2013 CBS news ran a segment: "Deepening Honey Bee Crisis Creates Worry Over Food Supply". It's really worth a look because it focuse … [Read more...]

“Nicky’s Family” tells of a man who saved 669 Jewish children in Prague

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This inspiring and well-made docu-drama tells the story of Nicholas Winton, a British citizen who has earned the title of Prague’s Schindler for saving 669 Czech and Slovak Jewish children as the Nazis began invading European countries in 1939.Nicky was single, in his 30s and worked in finance, the family business. His family had immigrated to the U.K. years before and converted from Judaism to Christianity He found himself in Prague on business when a Jewish mother approached him as a f … [Read more...]

“Blackfish” examines the tragedy of orcas in captivity

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Tilikum, a longtime star of SeaWorld, is an orca that was captured near Iceland in 1983 at about 3 years of age. During these 30 years in captivity, Tilikum has killed three people and seriously injured another. Blackfish is a documentary by director Gabriela Cowperthwaite that traces the origins and development of Tilikum’s aggressive behavior and asks probing questions about the morality of capturing and keeping wild animals for entertainment and profit. Through interviews with former Se … [Read more...]

“No Place on Earth” is the incredible story of Ukraine’s holocaust survivors

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In 1993 Chris Nicola, a cave explorer from Queens, NY, was in western Ukraine to research his family tree. While there he decided to explore some the country’s famous Gypsum Giant caves that extend for about 77 miles underground. In fact, he was the first person to ever do so. Deep in one of the caves he came across some artifacts: a cup, a shoe, a comb, buttons, medicine bottles.  He realized that these items belonged to someone, were part of someone’s life and started to ask questions. Finally … [Read more...]

“Kind Hearted Woman” story of a woman rising to new life PBS 4/1 Part One, 4/2 Part Two

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 April 1 Part One ET/PT 9-11PM  (check local listings)April 2 Part Two  ET/ 9PM-12AM (check local listings)Independent Lens/FrontlineRobin Charboneau is a young divorced single mother of two, an Oglala Sioux woman living on the Sprit Lake Reservation in North Dakota.  We first meet her as she walks home in subzero weather after twenty days in a rehab facility for alcohol abuse and its causes – extreme sexual abuse form a young age. Once home she invites a tribe elder to c … [Read more...]

PBS documentaries capture three American history stories: The Revisionaries, Henry Ford, Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope

From left to right: David Brown, Rick Husband, Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla, Michael Anderson, William C. McCool, Ilan Ramon (NASA/JPL/Caltech)

 PBS always has something interesting waiting in the wings. This week, it will broadcast a trifecta of significant documentaries."The Revisionaries" (Independent Lens)  10 p.m. Monday (check local listings)Of all the films I have seen from PBS's Independent Lens series, "The Revisionaries" is the most unsettling. It confirms what I have heard and read over the last few years about the influence of fundamentalist Christians in public education through the narrow focus of c … [Read more...]

Three-part PBS documentary shines spotlight on key abolitionists

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 "The Abolitionists" American Experience, PBS 10 p.m./9 p.m. Central, Jan. 8, Jan. 15 and Jan. 22Tonight, a three-part documentary premieres on PBS that tells the story of the abolitionists and the movement they created in the United States to end slavery. The series comes at the right moment by providing the historical context, biographies and background to the passage of the 13th Amendment as shown in the Steven Spielberg's film "Lincoln," now in theaters. Yet Abraham Lincoln's … [Read more...]


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